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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Kes lawak tak terkesan di Selangor - Khalid

Khalid: Foreign cash still flowing despite ‘joke’ trial

Khalid claims Anwar’s trial has brought more foreign investor interest. — file pic

By Neville Spykerman

SHAH ALAM, Feb 10 — Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim today labelled the ongoing sodomy trial of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim a joke and said the state economic advisor’s legal woes have not deterred prospective foreign investors.

“The trial is a joke and Selangor investors are undeterred,” said the Selangor mentri besar, who downplayed the impact of the ongoing trial on the flow of foreign investments into the state.

Anwar is currently on trial for allegedly sodomising former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

The opposition leader was appointed to the advisory post by Khalid on Nov 13, primarily to draw investments from the Middle East and to transform Selangor into an Islamic finance hub.

State government officials told The Malaysian Insider that in recent trips overseas, Anwar had met investors including those from the Middle East who have shown interest towards investing in Selangor.

Anwar also sits on the state economic advisory council for the state’s economic stimulus package, which includes cleaning and developing the Klang River; urban renewal projects; restructuring of Selangor’s water industry; enhancement of paddy yields; expanding the transportation system; and reviving abandoned housing projects.

Anwar was the finance minister and deputy prime minister until his dismissal in 1998.

He nevertheless maintains a directorship for a fund management company in the US as well as being an advisor to a major Islamic bank in Bahrain, besides being Selangor economic advisor.

Khalid said the ongoing trial had, in fact, generated more international interest for Anwar and his role as the state’s economic advisor.

“There’s a lot more interest now,” he said, without elaborating.